Results from a recent study by researchers at the US universities of Columbia, Georgetown and Harvard show that “a busy and overworked lifestyle, rather than a leisurely lifestyle, has become an aspirational status symbol.”
In short, says counsellor Ralitza Peeva, people now associate busyness with success, and keep adding activities to their already overflowing schedules.
What are some symptoms of burnout?
Some of the common signs of burnout are increased levels of anxiety, chronic fatigue, persistent lack of energy, difficulty to concentrate, insomnia, increased irritability, frequent illness due to a weaker immune system that’s under stress, anger, detachment and a persistent lack of enthusiasm for hobbies.
How can I address this?
People suffer from two syndromes, which add stress to their lives – the fear of saying “no” to someone because we are afraid we will disappoint them, and the fear of missing out (FOMO). Some people are lifelong sufferers of both, and instil this attitude in their children at a very young age. As a starting point, chose to eliminate the causes of burnout that can be eliminated. For example, if you have a difficult project to complete in two weeks, see what other commitments can wait until after this project.
Rest is another effective way to decrease stress. The earlier you go to bed, the more time you have to recover and the more time you may have available in the morning or at the end of the days to include some form of exercise in your busy schedule.
Think small easy steps to avoid becoming overwhelmed and pessimistic that your daily routine can’t change. Say “no” more often and without guilt. You don’t need to explain and apologise that your health has become your priority.
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From The Finder (Issue 291), March 2018
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